notre dame montreal

A Time of Surprises

Sermon preached by
The Reverend Dr Sam Cappleman
27 December 1998

Christmas is a time of surprises. What surprises did you have this Christmas, in your stockings, with your presents ?

The first Christmas was also a time of surprises.

For the Shepherds

—seeing an angel, seeing lots of them…

—being spoken to by one of them

—going to Bethlehem and finding the things they'd been told were true

For the Wise Men

—following a star

—finding someone who was supposed to be a king in a stable/house

—being spoken to in a dream about Herod's plan

For Herod

—hearing that there was someone who was born to be King of the Jews (didn't fit in with his plans)

—being disobeyed and outwitted by the Wise Men

—dying shortly after he ordered the slaying of the boys

For Mary

—finding she was going to have baby (9 months earlier)

—discovering that she was going to have the baby in a stable

—having Shepherds and Wise Men visit

For Joseph

—being told that Mary was pregnant

—being told in a dream to go to Egypt

—going to Egypt

Even thought there were lots of surprises for everyone involved and God was working in ways people didn't expect, we can see that through it all God was in control. Today God still works in surprising and unexpected ways.

Sometimes its difficult to believe that He's in control. Circumstances seem to lead us to believe that life is totally out of control—especially at Christmas where everything can seem such a whirl of preparation and commercialism.

Christmas is a reminder that God is in control of everything—even when things happen in unexpected or surprising ways.


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